FORT WAYNE, Indiana, The Indiana Sikh Outreach Mission hosted its first Sikh Turban Fest on Sunday, May 30, 2021. The Indiana Sikh Outreach Mission brought over 100 people to Promenade Park offering food, martial arts demonstrations and free turban wraps. The three-hour event presented by Indiana Sikh Outreach Mission is Allen County's first ever Sikh Turban Fest.
Its goal was simple: raise awareness about the Sikh identity, which people often misidentify, said Jesse Singh, the organization's founder.
"The whole motivation behind this is to tell our friends, to tell our fellow Americans, ‘Hey, we are your friend. We are not strangers, we are here for years and years, and we serve every field in America,” Jesse said.
The program also included authentic Indian snacks such as langar tea and pakoras and a demonstration of Gatka (Sikh Martial Arts).
“It feels great to have everyone come together in a celebration,” said Megan Butler, the program and events manager for Riverfront Fort Wayne. “It’s so important, so symbolic especially on Memorial Day weekend as our event organizers were saying this is what American values are all about freedom of speech, freedom of religion and we’re showing that here today.”
“We love seeing everyone get out of their comfort zone a little bit, try some new food, try some new drinks, listen to some different music, watch some different cultural presentations, and most excitingly, try on turbans,” said Butler.
Mayor Tom Henry also attended the event.